Presented by Emily Promise AIF®, APMA®, CRPC®
Many of us are spending our spring differently than we envisioned in the winter months. Our current situation finds us spending more time at home, and although these are unique times, there have been some positives from this time spent at home. Many families are spending more quality time together by cooking in the kitchen, taking long walks with family and pets, playing games outdoors and making other memories that will last a lifetime.
With more time spent at home these days, now presents the perfect opportunity to do some financial spring cleaning as well. Blakely Financial wants to help you stay organized. Check out some helpful tips below on financial spring cleaning.
- Say goodbye
We do not always know what to keep and what not to keep. Say farewell to those ATM statements once you check your bank statement. When a bill payment clears, throw away the receipts.
- Learn What to Keep
- Medical Bills – Once the claim has been paid, you do not need these any longer unless you are deducting the medical expense on your tax return. Follow IRS guidelines for keeping these documents.
- Utility Bills – Dispose of these after your bill has been paid. If you anticipate selling your home, hang on to a year’s worth to show potential home buyers. However, since everything is online, you can probably just pull a history to show those potential buyers and rid yourself of needless paper.
- Documentation of major loans and insurance policies – Keep all of these along with your birth, marriage, and death certificates, social security cards, passports in a firebox. Keep payoff statements forever.
- Paystubs – Keep these until you received your annual W2 form.
- Property Records that show Improvements to your home – These can be used when selling a home to offset capital gains when the property is eventually sold. Keep until the house is put up for sale.
- Bank Statements – Keep for one year, although now these are available online to access.
- Investment documents – Keep all capital gains tax reports for three years.
- Make a shredder your best friend
Invest in a good quality paper shredder as this is the best way to protect yourself. For what is left after your spring cleaning, invest in a good filing system, categorize and color code your files to make it easier when tax time comes around. Also, check with your financial advisor as sometimes they host shredding events.
- Switch to digital
Going digital with any statements, paychecks and financial records will save you time. Prepare folders on your computer to neatly organize all digital copies of important documents.
- Get Started Now
Make organization of your financial life a part of your normal routine. The longer you wait, the more of a mess this all becomes. Start spring cleaning now to ensure a more organized life going forward. And contact our office at Blakely Financial with any questions on dealing with your ‘financial clutter’.
Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM to see what other expert advice we can provide towards your financial well-being.
Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.
*Prepared by Hartford Funds